Motorists in Longford and across the country are being urged by the Gardaí to play their part in ‘National Slow Down Day’.
Slow Down Day began at 7am today Friday, October 21 and it runs until 7am tomorrow Saturday, October 22 and it will consist of high-visibility Garda activities in all 1,031 speed enforcement zones. Updates will be available throughout the day using #slowdownday.
The initiative will see An Garda Síochána conduct a major speed enforcement operation all across the country in a bid to reduce speed-related collisions and injuries.
Gardaí are warning motorists to slow down and not to speed on the roads tomorrow.
Gardaí have also released fresh data outlining the top speeds detected in each county over the past 7 days. Speeds of note include: A driver driving at 123 km in a 80 km/h zone on the R397 at Knockagowny, Longford and another driver driving at 137 km in a 100km/h zone on the N4 at Lackan, Edgeworthstown.
Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid of the Roads Policing Bureau said: "The aim of Slow Down Day is to remind motorists the dangers of speeding, to increase compliance with speed limits and to deter them from driving at excessive speeds. We will be activating a major speed enforcement operation in counties across Ireland tomorrow and as part of this we are urging all road users to join us in reducing speed and making our roads safe.
"There has been a significant increase in road deaths this year compared to 2015 and unfortunately, excessive speed is a major contributory factor in the majority these. This is not just a catchphrase, but a stark fact proven by the analysis of four years of fatal collision reports. The higher the speed, the greater the likelihood of a collision happen and the more severe outcome of that collision. Recognising this fact will not only protect you, but all those who share the road with you. It is everyone’s responsibility to act safe.
"As a general rule, a 1% reduction in average speed will bring about a 4% reduction in fatal collisions. With this in mind, we are urging every road user to please play their part in reducing speed and risk on the roads tomorrow. Of course, this is a message we would advise people to heed every day of the year, not just Slow Down Day.”
Gardaí have also launched a nationwide primary school competition as part of the initiative, in which young pupils are being urged to ‘name the newest Garda member’. It will run until the end of October and more information can be found on the Garda Facebook page.
Superintendent Reid added "All primary schoolchildren have been notified of a competition to win a visit by the Garda band to their school by creating their own road safety poster, poem or song. They are also being asked to name the newest Garda member, suggestions for which are already available to see on our Facebook page. Already we have had some fantastic submissions, from Garda CopOn McSlowdown to Garda Dee Celerate to Garda Teddy McSteady. Keep them coming!” See more examples by clicking here - https://www.facebook.com/ angardasiochana/
Schoolchildren are also being encouraged as part of Slow Down Day to engage with Gardaí online by posing questions through the @gardatraffic twitter page and An Garda Síochána Facebook.